Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I HATE! Improper Yoga Etiquette

I have all but given up exercise, which is undeniably sad and pathetic, but the truth is that I absolutely hate the gym - the essence of things like the Stair-master (climbing and climbing, but not getting anywhere), the elliptical machine (I cannot, for the life of me, get my legs to move on one of those things without instantaneously feeling them turn into jelly), and free weights (only for men with no necks) is lost on me. Don’t get me wrong: I am not one of those girls who can ‘eat whatever I want without exercising and never gain a pound’. It’s quite the opposite actually; what I eat goes right to my belly - the effect at it’s worst is similar to a nice fluffy doughnut wrapped snugly around my stomach - so I really do need to work at it if I want to be able to see my feet from above.

So it’s come to this: the only exercise I will willingly participate in is yoga and (ideally) / or soccer. I have already discussed both of these activities on this blog (specifically referring to instances during each where I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being kicked in the face), I know, but today I am going to address some other disturbing trends I’ve noticed during classes of the former.

I actually have lots of beef with the yoga studio where I take classes, but then again, it’s also free (well, actually, the proper term is ‘donation-based’, something the instructors remind us ever-so-robotically at the end of each and every class), so I can’t really do too much complaining. I tend not to want to bite the hand that feeds me, so I’ll generally just (try to) stick to bitching about the other attendees.

5. Dudes in yoga: Just. Gross. I’m really sorry. I don’t mean to be gender-biased here, but there is just something about seeing guys do yoga that really rubs me the wrong way. This applies to all guys - straight guys, gay guys, fat guys, skinny guys, beefed-up guys, pale guys, tan guys, short guys, tall guys. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s just kind of gross. It might be the general visual of hairy toes and hairy backs and sweat all rolled up into one. Male yoga instructors fall into this category as well. (And yes, I’m totally straight.)

4. Showing off: If you’re really flexible, that’s awesome. If you’re fantastic at yoga, congrats. If you can stand on your head without wobbling for a full minute, you deserve a medal, honestly, but there is a place and time for showing off your skills. And, at the risk of sounding bitter, a (glorified) beginner’s yoga class is not the time to showcase your mastery. The classes that I attend ALWAYS have some ass hat trying to show the whole crowd how flexible she is or how all of his ribs stick out when he does a bridge. I am at yoga class to get my own blubbery ass into shape - as are more of the people who attend - and it doesn’t make anyone feel calm or relaxed when we have some chick in spandex booty shorts and a sports bra holding a one-footed bind for 5 minutes without breaking a sweat. The thing is, you can always determine which people are simply practiced and which people are making it a point to show people how practiced they are. It’s all in the mat placement. I, for one, not being super-confident in my yoga abilities, always race to the very back row, but those who live to make everyone else feel bad about themselves position him or herself in the very front row, right next to the instructor. It’s more than obvious.

3. Unequal instruction: Now this has only happened to me once, but when I noticed it, I was so horrified, that I have never forgotten it. The scene was just any other yoga class - nothing out of the ordinary. This particular studio trains a lot of instructors - I almost always have someone different for each class and repeats in instructors have been rare in my experience. This particular instructor, let’s call her Bambi for anonymity’s sake, was a petite woman, probably about my age (23 or 24). She was pretty scantily clad, which, as you’ve probably gathered from #4 above, I didn’t appreciate, especially because the instructors don’t actually do any of the poses, completely negating the need for Bambi’s extremely ‘unrestrictive’ attire. But that is all beside the point. Getting back on track - often instructors will come around to the students and adjust them so that their bodies are in the poses correctly - basically just correcting whoever hasn’t got it down right. Bambi came around, in the same manner as all of her colleagues, but, low and behold, she only seemed interested in attending to (and touching) the gentlemen in the class. Thinking that maybe I was imagining this, I watched her throughout the entire class and, in fact, she NEVER even went near one of the females in the class. Ummmm, obvious much? And not only was it obvious, but it was shameless too. Did this girl, not unfortunate-looking by any means, really need to use her yoga class to pick up guys (most of whom were probably gay anyway)?

2. Inappropriate attire: I have already touched on this, I know, but it really does irk me when people choose to wear clothing that is clearly not appropriate for yoga. Let’s get this straight: in yoga, you’re flexing, you’re squatting, you’re spread-eagle... I don’t think I need to spell it out, but listen, there is simply no need to wear flimsy running shorts which give the person behind you a complete view of your inner-workings. Get my drift? And considering that everyone is facing in the same direction, there is no way to avoid getting the money shot if the person in front of your chooses not to dress properly. It’s pretty bad from both perspectives; embarrassing if you suddenly realize you’ve been flashing the entire three rows behind the entire class and nauseating if you have someone’s bikini line staring back at you for the full hour.

1. Excessive moaning: This is, by far, my biggest yoga pet peeve because there is 100% no need for it. If you’ve ever been to yoga you know what I’m talking about. Yoga is all about the breathing (well, that’s what the instructors always say anyway, but I’ve just never been able to get it down), and taking big inhales and exhales as you do the sequence of poses. I got it. I get it. But the kind of moaning I’ve heard during some of my classes is completely unnecessary. There is one girl, let’s refer to her as Big L, who I’ve been in class with, purely by chance, on numerous occasions. She moans so loudly and so frequently that I just want to tap her on the shoulder and tell her that she sounds fucking ridiculous and needs to shut the fuck up. There is no need. The incessant moaning only makes other people feel uncomfortable. I know the yoga can feel great on the body, but this isn’t orgasm class. We’re not practicing our most convincing sex noises. This is yoga. The moaning needs to find it’s way back to Big L’s bedroom. Best case scenario, I am launched into a fit of uncontrollable laughing (which is also probably not so conducive to yoga). Worst case scenario, I finally hit my quota, get up, and punch a bitch.

1 comment:

RWJ said...

You focus way too much energy on what everyone else is doing. These aren't so much pet peeves but a laundry list of a paranoiac. And I say that this wi